Comics, Reviews

Something Epic #1: Let Imagination Run Wild

What if everything you’ve ever imagined appeared before your eyes? In the comic series Something Epic, reality and fantasy are one and the same.

Something Epic #1
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesJan 25, 2024, 10:21 PM

Something Epic #1

Review
Rating
8
Good
Something Epic #1

Writer: Szymon Kudranski

Artist: Szymon Kudranski

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: May 9, 2023

Page Count: 28

Format: Comic

This new series presents a world fueled by a child's wild imagination, which opens the door to limitless possibilities and creativity.

Few things in this world are as boundless as a child’s imagination. Without a care in mind, kids freely let their thoughts and ideas run wild. Whether they show it through outlandish drawings or ridiculous stories, kids are creative in ways distinct from how adults think. Now imagine, just like a kid would, a world where everything that’s ever been imagined was made real. That interplay of reality and fantasy is the heart of the new comic book series Something Epic created by writer and artist Szymon Kudransk for Image Comics.

Danny talking to his mom

Where Worlds Collide

The hero of the story is Danny, an ordinary boy with extraordinary powers. Just like every 14-year-old kid, Danny loves reading comic books and playing video games. What makes Danny special is the way he sees the world differently from everybody else. He perceives the world of imagination that runs parallel to the real world. While others think what Danny sees is imaginary, it’s all real in his eyes. He sees everything from superheroes to fire-breathing dragons walking the streets like they’re ordinary people. His mind is tuned to see, hear, and even smell things that don’t exist for other people.

But as special of a kid as Danny is, he feels alone in the world. Because what good is it being able to see such amazing things and then not having anyone to relate to? He can’t even talk to his mom about the strange things living in their basement without being looked at like he’s crazy. That loneliness he feels is why he often wonders if what he has is truly a gift or a horrible curse.

Monsters in the basement

Creating a Melting Pot of Ideas

In its debut issue, Something Epic #1 establishes the series’ interesting concept in a very unique way. The story is told completely from the perspective of Danny. Everything the imaginative boy sees, we can see too in vivid detail. The comic features plenty of scenes filled with characters who look like they leaped right out of a Marvel comic book, manga, or video game. Juxtapose all those outlandish-looking characters with realistically drawn people and you have a comic book with a distinct art direction that stands out from everything that’s coming out today. The art is reminiscent of the 1988 film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” where imaginative cartoon characters are living in the real world. But to Danny’s eyes, it’s all real and nothing is imaginary. The creativity at play here makes you feel like you never know which character you’ll see next every time you turn the page. It will be fun to see this concept pushed further as the series progresses.

The caveat to creating such an imaginative world is that it takes plenty of exposition to make sense of how it all works. Danny’s narration guides readers through his experiences and interpretations of his unique gifts, even going as far as explaining the science of atoms and brain waves and how they connect to making imagination a reality. While the Danny that’s narrating is a much older and smarter version of the Danny we see in the story, it’s a bit jarring to see such profound concepts being discussed from the perspective of a young boy. As interesting as it is to have imagination and reality broken down in a way that’s logical for the story, Danny’s internal monologues tend to drag on just a bit too long sometimes.

Contrasting art styles

Final Thoughts

Despite its heavy, almost indulgent use of exposition, this first issue sets up what is sure to be an emotional coming-of-age story of a young boy who’s stuck between the worlds of fantasy and reality. Because imagination is at the very core of the story, like a limitless battery of ideas, there is plenty of potential in the world created by Szymon Kudranski. With the final page dropping a very foreboding cliffhanger, we can only imagine the wild adventure Danny is about to go on.

TAGGED: Image Comics, Reviews
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